January 25, 2017 By Larry Loeb 2 min read

The nonprofit Mozilla Foundation issued its first “Internet Health Report,” detailing notable cybersecurity trends related to hot topics such as government surveillance and the Internet of Things (IoT). The report focused on open innovation, digital inclusion, decentralization, privacy and web literacy on a global scale.

Inside the ‘Internet Health Report’

With the report, Mozilla hopes to popularize the term “internet health” similar to how environmentalists engaged the public with the term “global warming,” Solana Larsen, the editor of the 40-page report, told Threatpost. “We want to work with people and organizations that care about a healthy internet,” she said.

The authors of the report were encouraged by the encryption efforts of companies such as Let’s Encrypt and similar initiatives to democratize what can be a daunting process of issuing encrypted certificates for authentication. They also applauded products such as WhatsApp, which has made secure communications both practical and widely available.

Should the upward trend of government network surveillance continue, the report said, the use of these products should increase accordingly.

Pressuring IoT Manufacturers

The report also examined the increasing threat of malware targeting IoT devices. The authors argued that consumers and organizations must hold manufacturers accountable for embedding security into every stage of the development process. While this effort could increase the cost of IoT products, it would also provide invaluable benefits related to functionality and security.

While this is just the first Mozilla Foundation report, it provides a global narrative for the online ecosystem today. By taking a wide view of the internet as a whole, the authors hope to encourage users to examine more than just one local segment of the system. While local situations can drastically affect local use, the report evaluated how the entire internet functions on a global scale.

The “Internet Health Report” explicitly stated that the internet is a globally connected system — what happens in one segment affects all others. It is a credible first step toward better global cybersecurity practices.

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